This is purely hypothetical and not based on any tipoff that EssaySnark has gotten from any particular admissions director at any specific top school, but… It’s still something that we think could come up, and we invite you to consider this now.
There could be many variations on this. One simple prompt the admissions teams could devise might be: “What did you do during the coronavirus pandemic?”
Or, here’s another version of an essay question that could be asked for the Class of 2023: “What did you learn about yourself during the coronavirus outbreak?”
So, today is a challenge: If you’re thinking about trying for bschool this year (provided the world goes back to normalcy in some form or another), what would you be able to say in an essay that you had to write in, say, August 2020, talking about the things that you did now, in March and April of 2020, in response to this crisis?
We’re not suggesting that everyone should be out there on the front lines, volunteering in hospitals, or converting their garage to metal shops to build respirators.
But, it’s a real question.
What are you doing right now?
How are you responding to this?
Maybe you’re trying to be a leader in your community — like, you decided that yes, everyone should be wearing a mask when they go out in public, and screw it, you don’t care if you look ridiculous, you’re going to start wearing a mask even though nobody else is doing it yet. (Hint: That’s leadership.)
Or maybe you have extreme anxiety, and all of this made you really at risk for some mental issues — and you proactively sought out help. You built a support system. You implemented good habits to get you through it. You made yourself stronger in response to the fear. That would be a story of resilience, self-awareness, and growth.
Or, maybe you have had to work your regular job straight through, based on the role that you play in society. Maybe you’re in the military, and you had to show up for work even without proper protective equipment. You did it anyway. Maybe you even rallied your friends to buck up spirits and keep a positive thing going. That would show the adcom how you took the initiative, didn’t let the negativity get you down, were a real team player and stepped up.
Or maybe you’ve been playing video games nonstop and ordering DoorDash and not even giving any extra tip to the deliverer….
What will be the story for you when this thing is over?
When you look back in a few months, what will you be able to say about what you have done, and are doing, literally right now?
Think about it. Yes, everything sucks right now. But what are you doing to make it suck a little less for you or other people?
Who knows, maybe some schools will have questions like this in their applications this year.